Spurs slam Bale critics over Olympics

Tottenham Hotspur have rubbished reports suggesting Gareth Bale was made unavailable for selection for Team GB.

The Wales international was selected in Stuart Pearce's squad for the London Olympics, but sustained a back injury in the build-up to the tournament and was forced to pull out.

However, Bale featured and scored for Spurs during their recent 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy, which took place one day before Team GB's opener against Senegal.

The North London club are refusing to accept claims that they exaggerated the winger's injury in order to rule him out of contention for the competition.

"The club considers the recent comment and accusations regarding Gareth Bale's fitness relating to his non selection for Team GB's men's football team to be wholly unacceptable and unjustified," a statement read on Spurs' official website.

"For the avoidance of any doubt and on a point of absolute clarity and transparency - Gareth sustained an injury as he built up his fitness ahead of joining up with Stuart Pearce's side. MRI scan reports were sent to the FA medical team on 29 June (2012).

"He was subsequently not selected on the basis of this injury and the inability to predict recovery time

"This decision was not taken lightly and made only after consultation with Team GB's medical team, who were in agreement after seeing the medical reports.

"At no time was Gareth made unavailable for selection. Indeed, Gareth made clear publicly on numerous occasions his desire to compete for Team GB and was extremely disappointed on hearing the news he would not be fit to participate.

"He is now focused on and determined to get fit for the season ahead and to this end we have brought out an additional member of our medical team on tour, dedicated to Gareth's recovery.

"We are dismayed that some have sought to make wrongful assumptions about Gareth's particular situation and that such positive news surrounding his recovery is being highlighted in this manner.

"We trust that this statement now clarifies this matter once and for all."

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan has rejected suggestions made by FIFA President Sepp Blatter that Bale could be banned from participating in Spurs' pre-season programme throughout the duration of the Olympics.

"I don't agree with Sepp Blatter's comments about looking at banning him during the Games," he said.

"I think Sepp Blatter needs to get a bit closer to Team GB and maybe join me on the Jubilee Line early in the morning. I didn't notice him there this morning.

"It would've been helpful, because I could've explained the situation to him very clearly.

"I understand the response from some football fans who were hoping to see him play as part of Team GB.

"My view is different. I welcome the fact that, actually, he has returned from injury earlier than anticipated."